Blaeberry River - Thompson Falls Section

Contributed by Michael Reeder
What It's Like
2 short canyons. The first is a gorgeous class 2 slot canyon, the second is a short but intense class 5 canyon followed by a bit of class 3 run out.
Class
IV+ to V
Scouting / Portaging
Fully scout both canyons before dropping in. You can get out to scout or hike out between the 2.
Time
Half a day. It would only take ~30 minutes of paddling if you knew the run and that it was clear of wood, however, there is lots of wood movement, so expect to take half a day.
When to Go
September
Gauge
30.2cms↓ (Jul 30 14:30)
The narrowest part of the 1st canyon (facing upstream).



The canyons below Thompson Falls are a great addition to the low water, late season runs around Golden. Proximity to town, ease of access, beautiful canyons, stunning water color and exciting whitewater combine to create a classic section of river. 

The run starts off with a ferry and a portage around a beautiful waterfall before seal launching into a gorgeous class 2 canyon. A brief break in the canyon walls signals the beginning of the whitewater. When the canyon walls go vertical again you are treated to a short, ultra-continuous class 5 canyon. After this there is some fun class 3 boogie before the river mellows out and a short section of "BC flatwater" brings you to the takeout where you can head back up for more laps, continue on downstream for some woody braided channels that lead to a lovely set of class 2+ canyons, or call it a day.

The biggest problem is the amount of wood that moves around on this river. A full scout of both canyons is required unless you have good quality information from a recent descent. Luckily it is not too difficult to scout either canyon. Scout the 1st by following the canyon rim on river left downstream of Thompson Falls. The critical spot to look at is a pinch that narrows to about 4 feet wide. Below this the 1st canyon opens up and it is possible to scramble up to the canyon rim on either side of the river before committing to the 2nd canyon. The 2nd canyon can be scouted by following the Thompson Falls trail downstream from Thompson Falls for a bit less than a kilometer and then dropping down through the forest to the canyon rim. Alternatively, it is possible to kayak down through the 1st section and then scramble up to scout the 2nd canyon during the run.

If you need to hike out between the 2 canyons either side of the river will work, however river right is closer to a road. The river right road is washed out downstream of the 2nd canyon but can be accessed by vehicle via a bridge located a few km upstream of Thompson falls. 
The meat of the whitewater. Don't let scouting from the canyon rim trick you into thinking the whitewater is smaller than it is.



Another view of the crux.